Lupine Ultimatum: a #tankaprose

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

She is a howling in the wilderness we can never see

-from The Memory Palace, by Mira Bartók

A mere howl away.

That’s as far as the family has roamed. That’s all I need do, and their answer will guide me to them.

Why don’t I?

I am the Alpha, father to my cubs, mate of my mate. We hunt our range with pride. Should our prey catch even a glimpse of my black fur, they would flee. But a far more dangerous predator hunts me!

Twilight comes. I can’t shake him. I dare not lead him to my family, or them to him.

But my mate betrays me without knowing it. Her howl peels across the distance between us. My predator stops, tilts his head. He will not abandon his pursuit now.

A mere howl away. I do not answer, even when a lone tear swells in my eye. My mate and cubs will never know how desperately I yearned to reply. But I have one chance to save them.

When twilight fades, I must strike.


a single crack of thunder

as the sky turns black

last breaths as another

lonely howl goes unanswered

for Colleen’s 2019 Weekly #Tanka Tuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 152, #Poet’sChoice

With Real Toads’ Wordy Monday with Wild Woman: The Wolf Mother (imagined by Sherry)

dVerse Poets’ dVerse Poetics: On Shades of Black (pubtended by Anmol (HA))

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25 replies »

  1. Heartbreaking, Frank. Even in the animal kingdom we have separated them into “good” and “bad”, usually by attributes involving how we can benefit from them or not 😦


  2. Oh this one breaks my heart. It reminds me of the story of a wolf whose mate was caught in a trap – he stayed nearby and even brought her food until she died. There was a mournful howl then too. Yes, a far more dangerous hunter is man. Sigh. You took me right there, Frank.

    Liked by 2 people

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